• Welcome to the Contour Enthusiasts Group, the best resource for the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique.

    You can register to join the community.

2000 focus Wagon - what say ye?

TGO

King of the OFT
Joined
Jun 29, 2000
Messages
10,034
Location
Staten Island NY USA
Saw one with a for sale sign on it while out running some errands. Texted the owner and now trying to arrange to have a look at it.

Asking $1200 obo. 150k miles. Says AC works, timing belt is good, etc.

Only thing I'm kinda worried about is the mileage. I know the zetec is good for many miles but what about the auto transmission? Any common issues I should be looking for? I figure someone here has a high miles Focus.

I really could use the extra capacity of the wagon for work. It *looked* well maintained while passing by.
 

giganto

CEG'er
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
78
I've been to the Ford section of my junkyard a lot, and none of the Foci I've found there looked like they came out well in a collision with anything. A friend of mine died in a rollover inside one. I'd suggest spending an extra $3k and upgrade to a 3-liter Jaguar X-type sportwagon (2006-later). It's based on the Mk. 3 Mondeo which our Contours were also based on. It's a little bigger than the Focus, so it has even more extra capacity plus a 4000lb towing capacity (depending on the model)!
 

amc49

Hard-core CEG'er
Joined
May 21, 2008
Messages
1,662
DO NOT buy it if the top of engine says 'split port' or the 8th digit of the VIN is a 'P', it signifies the SPI engine, one that blows up with zero warning before it does it. The better part of the cars do it but not many SPIs in the wagons.

I have the zetec (VIN #3) in an '00 wagon and I have been through a $5500 accident in it that left me unscratched. NO CAR is safe in a rollover. Mine I managed to put back on the road myself after spending $600 to do so in '08 and it has over 200K miles on it now. It runs and drives like it was never in a wreck. The engines just don't break but ATX will show issues once the driver side end cover gets some wear in it to let the reverse and direct clutch packs narf. Mine barely beginning to show it. Most go from losers never changing the fluid, check it for color. The rest of those cars are junk though, they break so many nuisance items you won't believe it. Ford's new method of selling parts, mis-designing them to break way early to sell more parts. The cooling system electrics are too complicated for most DIYers and why many of the cars end up in the scrapyards, repeat overheating episodes until you blow a head gasket or worse.

Wait until you find out how many times the Jaguar window technology breaks to drop the windows.............utter garbage. I've been through some 6 window regulators now, luckily I learned to fix my own for like $10 long ago. The door latches and outside handles drive you crazy with breakage as will the engine mounts, the pass side mount alone will rattle your face off with dash vibration and the aftermarket is a total failure at copying them, you pretty much MUST buy a Ford mount or the problem is not solved, often getting much worse with a 'new' part.

I have watched Ford do this stuff for many years now, starting with Tempo, a plain jane car you couldn't kill, I still have mine. Then Contour, not as good but better than Focus and now two Focus cars. They are so bad and break so many things other than engine I have pretty much sworn off Ford forever, my last car was a Nissan and so far has not broken anything in the 100K miles it now has. My '02 Focus sedan had already broken like 10 things by then, I keep records of them. So had the wagon.

I had two Tempos and a Topaz, you can see the cheapening out of the cars through the model years, a metal part will then be made of plastic, then the plastic part will get skinnier or have holes molded into it to break easier, that stuff is intentional. It got much worse in the Focus. Beginning on Tempo and extending into the Focus cars bigtime I began to work out ways to undercut the necessity for new parts by making my own much better quality part or fixing the old broken one to last much longer than a new one from Ford would. Often for like $10 on what would be $100 worth of Ford part.

Remember the Jaguar window assembly mentioned above? Ford price $150 by now for sure (if you can still get them), I quit buying them at $130. Aftermarket parts store $80, I fix mine for $8 and so far haven't broken one I've fixed. $150 door latches? My cost $2. So many other parts like that I can't count, I've been forced to do it just to not go bankrupt buying Ford parts. It's just crazy. I save over $100 just by not buying Motorcraft cooling system hoses and converting to all bulk hose instead of buying the preformed triple expensive hoses. I only use the main upper and lower rad hoses, all others are straight 3/4" heater hose.

Ford apparently has gone to the idea of designing parts that break on cue after a certain time to force you to buy them again, you can pull parts all over the cars to see that engineering all over the place now, you can even often predict exactly where the part will break. I've done it several times. Holes drilled/molded in the correct place to fail or skinny cross-sections that then fail by breaking, all you have to do is look. Wiring too small in gauge to melt parts or too short to break at connectors, they say it's to save weight. Cheap biodegradeable wire insulation that rots way too early, the Ford 'green program' at work. The broken parts then multiply as nuisance items to make person think he wants a new car, but in my case I went elsewhere when I did it.

And we haven't even mentioned the program where Ford sent the engineers through all the parts books to take all small parts and roll them up into multipart assemblies that have you spending 10X what you wanted to get one bolt or seal or the like. The Ford parts counter guys told me ages ago that it was so that Ford could make the average counter sale over $50, they did NOT want any parts sales less than that.
 

CLASSVT

Veteran CEG'er
Joined
May 2, 2003
Messages
708
Location
Fort Wayne, In
I'm not saying you're wrong on all accounts, but I don't buy into your conspiracy theories much. I owned a tempo, and of course a contour, and I've been in the new focus. You know what the biggest difference is? Refinement. The new focus is light years nicer and more refined than the temp, and contour. Something european cars have had for decades before we did, and their cars were always "more complicated and expensive to fix." Well, there's a reason for it. You want a car with more power and refinement, you'll just have to deal with the fact that it takes more parts to make that happen. If you want a simple, underpowered, underwhelming, vinyl door panel, feels like a death trap at 80mph car that is simple to fix and has less-complicated parts.... buy a tempo. That's my two cents.

I do prefer a simpler car, versus all of the electronic gadgets galore, but those days are pretty much over if you want to drive a somewhat current car.
 
Top